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Opinions on police must be balanced

By Afi Phoebe

I felt compelled to respond to the TimesLedger’s current edition with an article titled, “Time to end the war on NY police” by columnist William Lewis.

There’s white collar crime wherein most often the offenders never get caught including those in “blue collars” with police badges. Then there’s street crime, the risky offenders who generally do get caught on camera and otherwise.

While it’s pretty well known why police are necessary, Lewis’ personal opinion lacks balance whilst endorsing a bias. Balance in reporting is important so that readers can make up their own minds who they care to support.

Lewis sugarcoats the NYPD in generalizations as if they all wear halos and anyone with a sense of knowledge knows that is not true. There are areas wherein I agree with Lewis, but he fails to mention the age-old, unwritten, and often immoral ‘blue code of silence.’

Also, upright integrity is compromised by way of bribery which has a long history. And how often is the reliability and validity of an officer’s testimony when it’s a case of cop vs. corpse? In instances of reasonable doubt, strong evidence of innocence and unwarranted lethal force, the cop always walks on his testimony painted in his favor. After all, he’ll never jeopardize his career and anticipated pension.

Let’s get this clear, subsequent to the losses of civilian and police innocent lives of recent, Mayor Bill de Blasio has reiterated numerous times his endorsement of the NYPD, (though it seems to have fallen short of PBA President Pat Lynch’s bold demands as salary-paid servants of the citizens). In neither situation has the mayor ignored those tragedies. So how dare it be said the mayor apologize for his concern for his son. The mayor may not be a mayor forever, but his son will always look like he does for a lifetime. The police do not govern and the mayor should not bow down to them.

Lewis also asserts that the officers were doing their job in Staten Island. What I can’t comprehend is how three officers watched, heard Garner’s desperation cries after being subdued to the ground, under grip and none attempted to tell the choking officer to let up. If that’s doing their job, then they need to be punished, one more than the others, for in my opinion they’re all guilty for the man’s death.

The police job does not including murdering a person in custody. The ongoing war has customarily been and continues to be against men of color in this nation. It’s an undisputable fact. But to be balanced, on the other hand, the aforementioned ‘disgraceful’ actions of the officers in blue with the badge, who violate the public trust, rarely pay a career price. Nor do purveyors of white collar crimes whose damages are severe, but have deep pockets to buy their freedom.

Afi Phoebe

S. Ozone Park

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